Sep 9, 2014
A good day in my business is one in which I learn that a favorite author has released a new book. That means good reading ahead and, more than likely, a good interview in my immediate future. Today is one of those days, as one of the Great Lakes’ favorite sons of modern literature, William Kent Krueger, is joining me to talk about his latest Cork O’Connor mystery, Windigo Island.
WILLIAM KENT KRUEGER podcast excerpt: "I didn't become aware of sex trafficking as a significant problem until I began working with Native organizations here in the Twin Cities. These organizations help both Native youths on the street and Native women who are in extreme situations; they save their lives. The trafficking of Native women is an enormous problem."
As always, the gentle writing style of Krueger belies a dirty underbelly of statutory misdeeds—and this is one of his darkest tales yet: teen sex trafficking of Native American girls. It’s a story that is often hard to read for the unfolding brutality of its crimes by sex traffickers, but while the narrative is never as sexually graphic as it might have been in a lesser author’s hands, Krueger is never less than commanding in his point of view and its effectiveness. This will be viewed as a hard right turn in content for readers of his last book, the non-Cork O’Connor story Ordinary Grace, which was actually an extraordinary piece of grace.
WILLIAM KENT KRUEGER podcast excerpt: "The heart of any good story is conflict. One of the things I thought I may be able to accomplish with this story was to have some of the conflict be between Cork and his daughter, Jenny, who see the world in different ways."
And no, William Kent Krueger will not be receiving a “Man of the Year” commendation from the Duluth Chamber of Commerce for Windigo Island. In fact, I suspect he may want to go in disguise next time he pays a visit to that lakefront city. This, by the way, is Krueger’s third visit to Mr. Media and I hope there are many more ahead of us.